10 Ways To Make Home Repairs More Affordable

Keeping your home in tip top condition can be challenging. On top of general wear and tear, you may have to deal with emergency damage as the result of an accident, a storm or even a burglary.  Some of this damage can be very costly, but you may not be able to ignore it. This is where it pays to know a few cost-cutting repair methods. Here are just a few ideas to help afford home maintenance costs.

Take out home insurance

Home insurance may be able to cover damage as the result of bad weather, burglary and fire. Providing that you don’t live in a high-risk area, insurance rates can often be found at affordable prices if you shop around. Make sure to always read the terms and conditions so that you know exactly what is covered. Tricks like upping your deductible can lower your insurance rates, but you could end up spending a lot of money when damage actually does take place.

Shop around for contractors

When choosing contractors to work with, shop around for prices. Many contractors won’t give a quote over the phone and will want to visit your home to assess the damage. Get lots of quotes so that you can negotiate a price match. Make sure to read online reviews if they’re available – some companies may charge low rates as a way of making up for a bad reputation. You want a cheap price, but you also want the job to be done right.

Check for guarantees

Some contractors will offer a guarantee. If repairs aren’t done to a good quality, a guarantee ensures that you will get a refund. This could save you money if things go wrong – you don’t want to be spending extra to repair a botch job. Shop around for companies with guarantees.

Source your own materials

You can save money on the cost of hiring contractors in many cases by sourcing your own materials. There are lots of places online in which you can buy materials cheaply in bulk. There’s also the option of reclaimed materials. These are materials that have been used in previous construction projects and are still in condition enough to re-use. Reclaimed materials aren’t just more eco-friendly – they’re also much cheaper. Buy materials from honest sources so that you know you’re getting good quality.

Go DIY

Those brave enough to go DIY can often save a lot of money. There are lots of tutorials online including blogs and Youtube walk-throughs that can guide you through many home repairs. You may have to own certain tools in certain cases, which could add to the costs and possibly make a contractor more economical. That said, you may be able to improvise certain tools in some cases. Basic leaks, roofing repairs and flooring flaws can all be repaired oneself. More complex jobs like faulty electrics and complex plumbing may require hiring a professional and could be unsafe to DIY. Know your limitations – you don’t want to screw up and end up paying more to repair the extra damage.

Take out an emergency loan

A popular way of affording home repairs is to take out a loan. There are many cash advance lenders out there that can offer you money if you can’t wait until payday. You should always shop around for loans to find the lowest interest rates in order to avoid paying more in the long run. Certain lenders may offer specialist home improvement loans with cheap interest rates. If you have a mortgage, your lender may also contribute some money to spend on home improvements.

Part-pay on credit card

Paying for home repairs using your credit card could be another way to afford these out-of-pocket costs. Many credit cards have limits to how much you can borrow, so check that expensive repairs don’t exceed this limit. Even if you part-pay for repairs on credit card, this can have several advantages. Credit cards offer a certain security, giving you the option to refund if a job isn’t done to spec. In a way it’s almost like creating your own warranty. As with loans, make sure that you’re using a credit card with a relatively low interest rate in order to reduce debt.

Start up a rainy day fund

A rainy day fund is a savings account to be spent only on emergencies. This could include home repairs, medical costs and car repairs. A rainy day fund can be a more economical alternative to insurance and borrowing, although it does require a certain amount of discipline as you need to make sure that there is always enough money in your rainy day fund to cover emergencies. High interest savings account can help you to grow this fund without having to keep contributing money.

Check for grants

There are home repair grants out there for those on a low income. These grants usually only cover repairs to serious damage such as a broken roof or dangerous wiring faults. In some cases, these grants could allow you up to five grand to use on home repairs. Get in contact with grant organisations and see if you are eligible.

Know your legal rights

There are times when you may be able to seek legal action for damage to your property. This could be damage caused by a neighbour such as a tree belonging to them that’s fallen into your garden or a fire that was caused by your neighbour and has caused damage to your property. There are also other times in which you may be able to seek legal compensation. If you hired a surveyor before moving into your home and they failed to identify certain faults, you may be able to make a negligence claim and cover repair costs this way.

Debt Management 101: When You Should and Shouldn’t Refinance

Whether you’re dealing with a mortgage, student loan, or credit card debt, refinancing might be a good option if you want to save some money. However, it’s not always a good choice for every situation. Learn about the pros and cons of refinancing so you can decide if it’s right for your situation.

What Is Refinancing?

The first step to deciding whether refinancing is right for you is understanding exactly what is refinancing. It’s the process of getting a new loan to replace an old loan. When you refinance a loan, the new loan will pay off the debt of your old loan. While your debt isn’t eliminated, you typically get better terms, which can help you save money.

How Does Refinancing Save You Money?

Refinancing can save you money in several ways. You can get a lower interest payment, which will help you pay less over the life of the loan. A lower interest rate can also lead to lower monthly payments, which means you’ll have more money remaining for other expenses. If you’re refinancing a mortgage, you could look to shorten the loan term. This would help you get to the point where you’re free from paying a mortgage.

Refinancing Credit Cards

If you’re struggling with credit card debt, refinancing can help. One of the simplest ways to refinance a credit card is to open a new account that offers a special zero percent interest rate. Then you just transfer your balance from your original card, and you have some time to pay down the balance without interest. It’s important to make sure you don’t put any new purchases on this card while you’re paying it down. Additionally, keep in mind these special rates don’t last forever. You might have to pay a small fee upfront to transfer balances.

Refinancing Student Loans

Many people religiously pay their student loans every month without realizing they can refinance these loans to save money. Private student loans typically have variable interest rates based on your credit history. When you first take out the loan, you’re young and you have a small credit profile. This means lenders consider you a higher risk. However, after you graduate, obtain a job, and start making regular payments, your credit risk goes down. This can help you qualify for a lower interest rate on your loan.

Refinancing Mortgages

When you refinance a mortgage, you might be able to lower your interest rate, consolidate debt, shorten the term of your mortgage, or use your home’s equity to finance a larger purchase. Just remember that closing costs can add up to thousands of dollars, so you’ll want to make sure your savings will let you more than break even before you start the process.

Everyone likes to save money, so refinancing sounds like a great option. However, keep in mind that refinancing is a time-consuming process that can get expensive, so you need to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s right for you.

Don’t Despair: You Can Handle The Cost of Redundancy

If you find yourself made redundant, you might panic about your financial situation. As you’re about to discover, redundancy doesn’t have to be the bell of doom that it seems at first. You can – and we know this is a cliche – see it as a grand opportunity. It’s the chance to leave that old boring position behind and move on to something bigger, better and brighter. So many people sink into a job that is comfortable and often won’t realize how stuck they have actually been until they are quite literally shown the door. You might find, that when you think about it, this was what you always wanted. Was the job you’ve just been let go from supposed to fill a gap and provide an income for a short duration? Then it’s time now to look for the position that you really want with the company that you want to work for, whatever that is wherever that is.

At this point you’re probably thinking, hey wait, what about my income? Don’t worry, there are ways to deal with the income conundrum when you’re out of work. First, we need to ask one question.

Was It Your Fault?

There are a number of reasons to ask this question. First, you might have been wrongfully dismissed. If that’s the case, then you do have a legal case against your employer. You can sue them for wrongful dismissal, and in cases like this, you can get a lot more than just your lost paycheck. That’s one option available to you, but how would you know if you had been wrongfully dismissed?

This is a difficult question to answer, but your first point to explore would be looking at the reason they gave for letting you go. Does it seem fair to you? If the answer is no, then you might have a case.

You might have needed to leave work due to an injury. But again, the question should be asked whether the injury was your fault. If it wasn’t, then you can think about contacting a lawyer. A lawyer will typically say, hey come to our law office and let’s see if you have a case here. If you’re interested in doing this, you need to gather all the information about the accident possible, but there’s a good shot to get the pay you have lost here.

Or, it could be that the company has failed. Again, this isn’t your fault and you are entitled to a severance package in this case. That is something that you should be pursuing through the appropriate channels.

After you have explored all these possibilities, you need to ask yourself another question.

How Long Do I Have?

 

What we mean by this is the amount of time that you can survive easily without an income. Include in your calculations the money you get from your severance package, the money you get from any lawsuit that you might have taken against the company and indeed your savings. They are all important to take into account and build up a picture of how long you will be able to last without your job. For most people, it’s going to be around six months. Six months can seem like a pretty long time, but it will move like lightning when you are unemployed. Suddenly, you will be on the last month and have very little capital left to rely on. That’s an issue, and it is possible that it takes more than six months to find a new job. It depends on the state of the economy, whether people are hiring and whether you are a sought-after resource.

 

However, typically, you can bridge the gap here with freelance work and operations that you can complete without an employer. Who knows it’s possible that your time spent out of the office might be just what you need to move forward with your true passion. Perhaps you could start your own business in this time.

If there is a benefit of being unemployed, it’s that, while you still have money to fall back on you have freedom to decide your next path. You shouldn’t rush this decision, and you should instead make sure that you plan your moves carefully. The right step here could double or even triple your finances in the future.

We hope this helps you deal with the crushing blow of redundancy and that you come out of this difficult situation stronger than you were before.